Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Rare Toy - TFA Cheetor
Transformers Animated Cheetor
"Cheetor loves the thrill of the chase. When his turbo sensors lock on to the tail lights of a fleeing Decepticon, he pushes his accelerator to the floor. He can get a little too focused on his games of cat-and-mouse. When his optics lock in on the perp, his surroundings fade into a blur as he races in pursuit. Neither street signs, traffic flow, nor even that unfortunate bot caught crossing his path matter to him during his dash."
Function: Law Enforcement
Quote: "Go on. Run! That's when the fun begins!!!"
Cheetor's robot mode is a sleek form with high shoulders and long limbs. His build is meant to emulate a professional athlete, so he has a thin waist-line and a muscular chest. Cheetor's colour-scheme is mostly yellow with black spots of differing shapes (the ones made visible in robot mode are octagonal whilst those visible in vehicle mode on the hood and canopy are more organic in appearance (and in fiction are revealed to have been from when he had some black paint splattered on him). Cheetor also features an orange chest and highlights on his limbs, he also features light green highlights on his knees and abdominal area. He also has some black paint applications on his groin and the joints on his limbs as well as his wheels (a pair of which are a major part of his feet)
Cheetor's arms are connected to his upper torso by a ball joint connector that allows him to rotate it as much as possible, without getting hit by the back kibble. Cheetor's lower arm is connected to the upper arm by a combination of a pivot and ball joint to give his elbow amazing articulation. Cheetor's hands are sculpted with fingers and a small peg hole, though the hole is far too small to hold his supplied weapon, however don't worry, there's a peg hole on the large piece of plastic connected to the lower arm that allows you to clip his weapon into it
Cheetor's waist line is able to rotate on a pivot as far as possible without getting stuck on the clips at the back of his back kibble. The upper leg is connected to the groin area by some ball joints and a hinge joint that allows it to move as far as possible, and even bend up the top (though the bending at the top is only really for the transformation sequence). The lower leg is connected to the upper leg by a hinge that makes a knee joint that allows it to bend backwards by 90 degrees. The feet are connected to the lower legs by a pivot joint at the ankle area that allows it to spin around fully (again just for the transformation really). Cheetor also has what can be seen as shoes formed by his rear lights from vehicle mode being separated creating a point at the front and one at the back, allowing Cheetor to stand up freely.
Cheetor's head is connected to the top of the torso by a black neck piece connected by a stiff hinge that can be bobbed forwards and back slightly, and then the actual head connected to the neck by a ball joint. Cheetor's head is based on the Beast Era character of the same name with a silver face, animated style chin and a three pronged yellow and orange helmet (which sort of resembles Galvatron's) that also features a small green chevron. The sides of the helmet also features a pair of green screw like decorations. Cheetor's eyes are a painted green (ie no light-piping, unlike his mold-mate Blurr's) and also features some sculpted freckles an a cheesy grin that takes up pretty much his entire face.
Despite what his stock photography shows and what his character model from the comics and profile shows, the actual toy lacks his black facial detailing, leaving it kind of plain.
Cheetor's vehicle mode is a futuristic yellow race car with black organic style spots across it with black windows and small yellow side view mirrors. The over-all design of the vehicle looks like an adaptation of the Mach 5 from the Speed Racer series, and even looks like it could be a fast car in real life, if ever designed.
The front bumpers of the vehicle are found of the two points where the transparent green headlights are found (most likely due to safety issues in case kids are stupid enough to poke themselves in the eyes with them) but they actually work well as bumpers for you to ram Cheetor into a wall without damage being caused. On the flip side, Cheetor has a pair of painted red rear lights that are just for decoration's sake.
Cheetor's front wheels are free running on a simple pivot, however his rear wheels, due to them being turned into his feet in robot mode, are designed so that only a disguised inner wheel actually moves. Both pairs of wheels are black plastic with red details painted on the rims, which give an impression of a "Tron" style wheel.
Cheetor can be a bit fiddly to transform in places, you basically have to switch the positions of the arms and legs for the vehicle mode, which of course requires you to clip things in a specific order or it'll all go pear-shaped.
The legs require you to bend them near the top and rotate the whole thing around by 180 degrees, whilst at the same time you have to detach the arms from the torso by their connectors and rotate the arms 180 degrees as well, whilst connecting the two into the same area, all the while remembering to clip the weapon in front of the windshield, rotating the head and folding the back of the vehicle backwards completing the vehicle mode
Something that is often forgotten on this toy is the feet. According to the character model his feet are supposed to have the black part visible at the front, and the yellow part at the back (I had this issue with Blurr when I first got him)
Cheetor comes with his weapon that forms the hood of his vehicle mode (so technically it's not an accessory, but I'll count it) it can be held on his arms by the peg holes on the unpainted side of his arms to act a a blade weapon by pressing the button with the Autobot insignia on it.
Alternatively you can clip the weapon on the two small hooks just below the large black area of his back so it can act as some coat tails (similarly to how it can be with TFA Lockdown).
The flip out weapon feature is also accessible in vehicle mode, so I guess Blurr can slice guys up whilst driving fast.
Cheetor was made available in 2011 from the Collector's Club Store and began shipping out after the Botcon of that year, which in turn was a Transformers Animated based set, and Cheetor acted as a main character in the comic from that set, making him an additional member of the set in spirit. Cheetor was made available at the same time as the G2 coloured Ramjet (as an add-on for the previous year's set) but, despite having a new head and being a new character etc has actually sold at a lower price and at a slower pace than his pure re-paint wave-mate...I find that a bit odd personally, but whatever float's the other people's boats I guess!
Cheetor's toy is a repaint of TFA Blurr with a new head to emulate the Beast Era character of Cheetor. This character's development is actual kind of interesting in itself, the Blurr character from TFA was based on the cancelled Transtech Cheetor toy (it's basis was later used for the character in the TFCC Transtech storyline of course), and now the Blurr toy has been redone into a Cheetor toy, bringing the homage full circle (especially since Cheetor was a part of the Transtech police in Animated as well, and even that being influenced on his Transtech character as well)
Cheetor has appeared in two comics so far, the online Moving Violations story that acts as a prequel to The Stunti-Con job (Botcon 2011 comic). Though Cheetor also appeared in the Allspark Almanac II (albeit with a different head mold, which looks closer to Blurr's mold itself).
Cheetor is actually quite a fun figure, he works well with the rest of the Animated toyline (not that surprising really) except that Cheetor is a bit more sparkly that the rest of the line (except the Botcon TFA figures) due to the paint application used on Club toys being a bit more sparkly that others
Cheetor's Tech Spec is actually in itself quite interesting, along with the Botcon TFA figures he has a G1 style tech spec card which requires a red decoder card to read the stats, which isn't included in the box with Cheetor (luckily they had one included in "The Transformers: Vault" book or in an old G1 toybox if you have one, attack a MISBer if you know one to get one! (or just get some red transparent plastic or film to decode the stats)
Now, the figure itself is one of my favourites, with the only issue I have being his lack of facial paint, but that can easily be sorted with a black fine tip sharpie if you have one.
If you can find a Cheetor somewhere for a reasonable price (about £50 is enough) then I'd recommend getting him, especially if you want a complete TFA set, or want a figure you can re-purpose as a Transtech character (which works too)